There is no league in world football that could have produced the drama of the last day of this season’s Premier League. There is little between Liverpool and Manchester City and they are the two best teams in the world. City deserve their success and I only hope Liverpool now go on to win the Champions League. A big shout out to my local team Bromley for winning the FA Trophy on the same day. Four of the players in the Bromley team were with me at Ebbsfleet Utd and they are all honest lads who deserve this success.
Effective recruitment is the key to success at any level of football. Most players that are out of contract this summer or who are looking for a move sort their future out in the January transfer window. At a minimum and in an ideal world no player wants to go on holiday in May or June with their future unresolved.
Over the past two years and in my role as Chairman and CEO of Integral Sports Management (ISM), I and my key football staff were aware of the requirements of every club in the top five divisions of English football. ISM has been trading for two years now in what has been a difficult environment in sport due to COVID and lockdowns but it now has 61 clients and does things the right way. The appointment of Pete Fitzboydon as the new CEO means I can now retire from my role there knowing it is in good hands and well set for a bright future.
Agents get a bad name in some quarters but they are an essential ingredient to good recruitment and building relationships with agents is essential for all clubs. They are there to represent the interests of their players first and foremost but also to marry them up with the right club for them be that geographically or for progression.
As I found back in 2011, working in a recruitment team to put together an entirely new squad of players was one of the most difficult challenges I have ever faced, particularly as the budget set was some £2million below rival club, which meant negotiating with players, agents and clubs required patience and keeping a strong stance. Insisting players and their wives or girlfriends attended meetings was key and some players whose agents declined the offers made had their minds changed at these meetings. It is important to treat players and their families with respect and getting to know them is essential, as most hate being treated as commodities.
We live in an era dominated by text, WhatsApp messages and emails but the importance of face to face contact should never be underestimated.